Dave was unsure. The irony was, to those who knew Dave and considered themselves to be his friends, was that this was the defining thing about Dave that was actually certain. Of this, Dave’s friends were quite sure.
If you saw Dave in the street – and plenty did – he was a recognizable figure in his familiar Gabardine coat, unfortunate trousers and shrill, twill hat – you might mistake him for someone who was very sure. Of that, you could be certain. Although mistaken.
A certain amount of uncertainty tainted Dave’s daily life, from knowing which way to start his day, (tea, cornflakes and a scan of the Daily Multitude) or to end his day, (a scan of the Evening Fortitude, cornflakes, tea).
You might mistake Dave for someone who had a purpose as he purposely trod the familiar pavements of Workingtown, to the shoe shop where he worked as assistant to the Saturday girl, Chloe, on Sundays and as Head of Shoelaces every other day of the week – (Wednesday’s aside – Wednesday being the other Saturday girl who only worked on Thursday’s and held a soft spot for Dave, just under her left cheek).
You’d be mistaken for thinking Dave had a purpose beyond Wednesday. In fact, Wednesday’s aside, Dave couldn’t wait for Thursday. Thursday was payday. Payday meant Dave could tread purposely across the street after work and buy flowers for Wednesday. However, by the time the following Thursday came around the flowers would have wilted. They lasted less than a week. You’d think Dave would know this. You think this was one thing, repeated as often as it was, he’d be pretty darned clued up on.
Dave had recently endured a little bad fortune and had been ridiculed violently in both the local and national press. Dave had appeared on the unfathomably popular reality television programme ‘Business Bear Cavern’ – a show so awful even Simon Cowell had called for it to be terminated. The premise promised a judging panel comprising top talent from the top table of the top corporate and commercial community considering business ideas from bumbling, filibustering flibbertigibbets who couldn’t design an empty paper bag if an empty paper bag was placed over their heads.
Dave had invented an app which promised the often sought after Shangri-la paradise of double-decker bus passengers – the guaranteed empty double-seat. Dave’s app worked by accurately predicting, when each top deck double-seat was occupied by one person, which passenger would get off at the very next stop, thereby guaranteeing a far more pleasant journey than being squashed like a raw turnip in a basket full of tinned beans against a man with an unfortunate-smelling overcoat.
Regrettably for Dave, just as he’d been feeling certain that one of the bears in the Bear’s Cavern would back his fanciful notion to the tune of twenty-five thousand pounds his world came shuddering to a halt when the tallest bear, Tracy Treacey, the treacle queen of Tring, firstly figuratively and then laterally literally, laughed in Dave’s face. From that moment on, the other bears followed suit and Dave, in his best and only suit could only follow the other losers off the show and off into the night, in the taxi of shame.
In fact, if things had turned out differently for Dave in the past, his life would certainly not be so wearisome. That much was sure. For Dave knew, that despite mankind’s development over millions of years, despite advancement in technology, hygiene, philosophy, psychology, herbal medicine, Yoga, mathematics, art, engineering, literature, sports science, space travel, cyber technology, diet advice, the evolution of haircuts and Chelsea boots, of the electric guitar and synthesisers, of Descartes, Shakespeare, James Joyce, James Dean, James Dyson, James Bond and Jamie Oliver and Oliver James – a world in which we can propel a man into the outer reaches of the atmosphere and land him on the Moon, a world in which the Pyramids and Stonehenge can be built, a world in which it’s possible to grow a human ear on the back of a mouse, with all these achievements and all this brain power and artistic talent, no-one, under any circumstances, in any way, shape or form, given legal assistance from the most powerful and cunning lawyer this side of OJ Simpson, given money the amount of would make Bill Gates weep, given the kind of political power the combined forces of Russia, the US and The Isle of Man could only dream about, nothing can ever stop another person from being a complete and utter arsehole.
Dave was sure.